FAST COMPANY: How do you inspire your staff?
GARY BURNISON: How do you inspire your staff? Well ultimately, leadership is about making others believe. And the biggest risk as a leader is that you go up the mountain and you suddenly get halfway and you look behind you and nobody else is there. I believe that authenticity trumps charisma any day. One piece of advice that I got some years ago that I always try to hold myself is that is whenever you have any interaction with an employee, with a colleague, just check yourself -- does that person feel better after the conversation than before.
How do you inspire your staff?
Gary D. Burnison is Chief Executive Officer of Korn/Ferry International, the worldwide leader in executive recruitment and a premier provider of talent management solutions, assisting global organizations to achieve extraordinary outcomes through talent. Korn/Ferry employs more than 2,500 people in 40 countries. He is also a member of the Firm’s Board of Directors.
Under his strategy, Mr. Burnison spearheads the Firm’s transformation as a diversified human capital organization. He brings hands-on experience to his current position, having served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Korn/Ferry from 2003-2007. Mr. Burnison joined Korn/Ferry as Chief Financial Officer in 2002.
Prior to Korn/Ferry, he was principal and chief financial officer of Guidance Solutions, a privately held consulting firm developing and supporting technology solutions, from 1999 to 2001.
Before Guidance Solutions, Mr. Burnison served as a senior executive officer and director of Jefferies & Company, Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of Jeffries Group, Inc., where he worked from 1995 to 1999. Earlier, he served as partner at KPMG Peat Marwick from 1984 to 1995.
In 2011, Mr. Burnison published The New York Times bestseller, No Fear of Failure: Real Stories of How Leaders Deal with Risk and Change – a book offering insightful conversations with some of the world’s top leaders in business, politics, education, and philanthropy. He is also a regular contributor to CNBC, CNN, Fox Business and other international news outlets.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California.